Social Diary has collaborated with a medical expert to allow our readers to connect and have their concerns answered over their wellness-mental and physical. This week:
Neelam Shahida Asks:
What are some of the leading practical skills that can help you plenty to deal with children?
Dr.Uzma: Being a practising Clinical Psychologist in Islamabad for over a decade, this question in various forms turns up quite often. The nature and particulars may vary, but the question remains pertinent. In this era of technology, parenting has become quite complicated for parents since everyone is mentally and physically preoccupied. In most cases, job demands have been increased and exert extensive mental pressure, and most families have both parents working. Naturally, children are pretty sensitive to their surroundings. With the increasing demands of time on the parent’s lives, the children must also readjust to the change in dynamic. In the midst of all this, the caretaker has to ensure that the environment around the child always remains nurturing and conducive to growth. Keeping in mind some essential tips, things can be managed in a better way. Learn and develop the patience to listen to them, and facilitate them to share whatever it is, without judging and criticizing. By being a good listener, a parent can reduce communication gaps, and reaching out and understanding their minds can help you to manoeuvre their thinking for better outcomes. Remember, active listening includes giving due attention and showing neutral gestures in case of undesired content.
Another vital tip is being aware and watchful of your emotions (usually negative ones). Children observe and imitate your emotional states unconsciously and tend to behave in the same manner in similar circumstances. Additionally, once in intense emotional turmoil, you are vulnerable to revealing your weak states and purging out negative thinking, which increases your anxieties and makes them more vulnerable to stress. It is suggested that one should act with politeness and adopt this trait in themselves.
Put yourself in their shoes while interacting with them, this would make you aware of your own expectations and connections with your parents in your childhood. Despite the progression in technology and advancement of the times, the core need of a child would remain attention, warmth and unconditional love. The more you learn to look at life from their perspective, the more you will be able to bring positive changes in yourself, that consequently would be helpful to your relationship with them.
Finally, make sure to get the children and family on the table once a day so that the family stays connected and also learns to respect and develop patience for the differences among each other. There is no definitive rulebook to answer this question. As parents, we must be open to the fact that we need to keep our ears, eyes, and hearts open. We mustn’t be afraid to recalibrate and reassess when a particular dynamic is not working. As a clinical psychologist, I think that children are the best communicators, and we must bring ourselves up to the mark as listeners to be there for them and help them grow.